Overview & Reviews
The Chevrolet Avalanche is a distinctive utility vehicle that blends the comfort and passenger capacity of an SUV with the cargo capacity of a long-bed pickup truck. Its unique "midgate" feature allows it to be converted from a five- or six-passenger crew cab pickup with a short cargo box into a two- or three-passenger pickup with a long cargo box. A lockable hard plastic cover keeps the bed contents safe.
Produced for two generations, the Avalanche was based on Chevy's related full-size trucks and SUVs and therefore shared basic underpinnings and powertrains. Though it may command a price premium on the used-car market, the Avalanche also has more to offer than most pure trucks or SUVs. For the shopper in need of a jack-of-all-trades vehicle, either generation of this unusual truck should make for a smart choice.
Used Chevrolet Avalanche Models
The most recent Avalanche is the second-generation model produced from 2007-'13. Sleeker exterior styling, a sharper and more precise driving feel and increased interior refinement were its chief advantages compared to the first-generation model. It was offered in three trim levels: base Avalanche LS, midgrade Avalanche LT and plush Avalanche LTZ. Numerous luxury and technology features were available, including Bose audio, leather upholstery and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Rear-wheel drive by default, this Avalanche was also offered with two four-wheel-drive (4WD) systems -- one with a single-speed transfer case (introduced on the 2010 model) and one with low-range gearing (previously the only option). All models started with a 5.3-liter V8 that initially produced 320 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque (310 hp and 335 lb-ft with 4WD). A 6.0-liter V8 with 366 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque was optional from 2007-'09. (Note that rated power on these engines varied slightly through the years, but you shouldn't notice any real-world difference in performance.) Earlier Avalanche models had a four-speed automatic transmission, while a six-speed automatic (which helped improve fuel economy) became standard for 2009.
In reviews of the second-generation Chevrolet Avalanche, we consistently praised its exceptional versatility on account of the adjustable-length bed. From behind the wheel, we found the Avalanche to be comfortable and smooth-riding for such a workhorse, with robust acceleration from either of the proven V8 engines. The towing capacity impressed us at over 8,000 pounds, easily outdoing the car-based Honda Ridgeline, though trailing pure trucks with V8 power. Maneuvering in tight spots was a challenge, however, due to the Avalanche's massive size and considerable blind spots astern. Still, with its updated platform, it was markedly more pleasant to drive than the previous-generation model.
Aside from the powertrain changes noted above, this Avalanche received standard side airbags for 2008, and the LTZ was upgraded for 2009 with standard Bose audio, heated and ventilated front seats and leather upholstery. The final-year 2013 model was technically known as the Black Diamond Avalanche; it was treated to special badging and some additional features as standard.
The first-generation Chevrolet Avalanche was produced on an older platform from 2002-'06, making a name for itself with its innovative midgate, which was largely carried over to the second-generation model. This Avalanche is also very similar to the newer version in terms of passenger space. At its debut, the first-generation model was offered with two- or four-wheel drive and in 1500 (half-ton) or 2500 (3/4-ton) designations. The 1500 came with a 5.3-liter V8 good for 285 hp. The 2500 model had a 340-hp 8.1-liter V8 as well as higher towing and payload capacities. Both engines came standard with a four-speed automatic transmission.
In reviews of the original Chevrolet Avalanche, we gave it high marks for its trick adjustable bed and comfortable seating. Downsides included compromised outward visibility, low-grade interior materials and awkward exterior styling. The latter was partly attributable to the truck's standard-issue gray-color lower body cladding. Chevrolet wisely made it an option starting in 2003.
There were a few other notable changes during this Avalanche's run. The 2003 model year also saw the arrival of standard multistage airbags, optional stability control and a number of new features, while 2004 saw a slight drop in rated power for the 8.1-liter V8 (to 320 hp). Stability control was made standard across the board for 2006.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 964.00
Yes - 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
By Benny - January 1 - 5:54 pm
I have a 2002 Avalanche Z71. Bought it in 2004. I have put 474,000 miles on it. At 225,000 miles I put another motor in it. I can't say enough about the one I bought. Good job Chevy.
2011 disaster - 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche
By Bill - November 19 - 7:27 pm
Bought a 2011 5 years ago....had 70,000 miles. 3 years ago when I hit 118,000 miles, motor blew. Ingersoll chevy (local dealer/repair) told me "you must have put in the wrong oil at one time" which I never put any oil in it, as they had beenthe ones servicing the Trucks oil...? so.... after spending $7500.00 for a new motor, and then 1 week later $650.00 for an oil sender (which wasn't under the warranty from the motor replacement- Ha!) then 2 years later the tranny went and Ingersoll got another $5500.00 from me. 1 year ago the tranny cable broke -$700.00 (of course not under the new tranny warranty) . Now, 3.7 years later after the motor was replaced (7 months after the warranty passes), the motor just went again. Question is this, is it a lousy truck, rip-off dealership/repair shop, or is it me who keeps bringing this truck to a dealership/repair shop that has no regards for steady loyal customers hoping they will realize there is something not right with any of his.... Think about it.. if I get another motor I will have spent $22,350.00 in less then 4 years for this 2011 Black Nightmare.- that sadly looks like a great truck from the outside.... Ugghhh
Horrible vehicle - 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche
By Bob Thoms - June 10 - 11:46 pm
Worst vehicle I have ever owned. Cheap finish, nothing works, electronics are horrible, etc. Would avoid at all costs-
Economy - 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche
By Elizabeth - January 25 - 8:51 am
This has always been the most economic and classic car i have ever seen.
very disappointed - 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche
By michael r. lewis jr./ Nicole M. Lazaro - January 13 - 9:08 pm
The truck at first glance and test drive is amazing from the drive to storage to comfortability i bought my 2008 avalanche 3 years ago and up til now i absolutely loved this truck. I have owned 5 chevy/GM vehicles throughout and adter this i will never own another one pending on how GM itself takes care of the issues at hand. Burns oil over consumption bad without telling costumers to be aware of. Now at 90,000 miles my truck is running and sounding like crap, lifter problems traction control stablitrack, engine misfires in cylindersand after i have extensively researched this is a common problem most of the morors were poorly made crappy parts in mexico, ultimately you need a new motor otherwise replacing lifters, pistons, cam shafts, rings, spark plugs, list goes on and on before you can fix the problem we as preferred costumers should not have too fork out thousands of dollars on engine problems on a $35,000 vehicle after only a year or two of owning it especially if like my self ur one who stays up on maintaince religiously i have replaced TPS, oil pressure sensor, new brakes and rotors, tune up new plugs and wires new throttle pedal position sensor all to try and fix this lifter noise and traction control and stabilitrack and engine lights, and noise and vehicle running and sounding like crap all to find out this is a common issue and fault on GM with this particular motor issues i think its time to switch to ford based on how GM addresses this issue with me especially since my truck is just out of warranty now go figure
5 yrs of love - 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche
By Jo Gayle - January 12 - 1:44 pm
I love my truck I have driven it for 5 yrs pulling a grooming trailer as my business. Worth every penny. Beautiful and strong just like me.
Love-Hate Relationship!! - 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche
By Carly - December 9 - 11:42 am
Just got my 07 LTZ its been in the shop 4xs in 6mths!!! Back-end rebuilt 2xs along with misc fixes. Then replaced the air-ride compressor. Back again for axel, bearings, and alternator. NOW it wont start and Im being told it could be an "electrical issue". Im so over this chevy! Thank god I have my lexus to rely on! What sucks is as soon as I get back in the truck, I love it! I feel like Im in an abusive relationship! Do your homework on this truck for sure!! Dont get suckered by looks and comfort - it will let you down time and time again!!
Good Value - 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche
By Jack - November 13 - 11:03 pm
2005 Avelanche used at 18K miles. 2x4 with G80 locker. Major problems: transmission went out after 95K, My Suburban had over 150K without a problem. Investigating some had earlier problems and most went out around 100K, so dont feel to bad. It has been reliable with little maintenance. Interior seem to fall apart fairly easy, buttons on dash, Cover on window pillar fell off. Light 4x4 with G80 locker did very well.
HEADLIGHT FAILURE AT !!!!!!!!!!!! 50 MPH !!!!!!!!! - 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
By William R. Johnson - July 20 - 12:51 pm
2002 Advalance headlight problem that no one has ever heard of! Driving down dark road switch lights from low beam to high and lights go completely off. What a surprise so I switched back to low beam and thank goodness they worked. The odd thing is the bright light indicator stays on either in low or high beam position. NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO HELP. PLEASE HELP ME IF ANYONE HAS SEEN THIS PROBLEM.
Second Chevy truck - 2006 Chevrolet Avalanche
By bjk3 - May 24 - 7:04 am
I had a 01 Chev swb ls with the 327 engine.. Probably in my opinion the best V8 engine in production, because it will go 300,000 plus if well takin care of, and parts for it can be found anywhere, and they dont break the bank like the imports. This 06 is even better, I bought from Car Maxt after the other one was totaled in a hail storm. So I have been driving the 327 for 13 years total. At the time of purchase had 93,000 miles. Never been in the shop after 3 years of ownership. Had two emission issues, that chev avalanche club helped me fix, Great multi purpose vehicle. gas mileage could be better, averages only 13 in town, but highway miles good as high as 19.